The μ opioid receptor (μOR), which is part of the G protein-coupled receptors family, is a membrane protein that is modulated by its lipid environment. In the present work, we model μOR in three different membrane systems: POPC (1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine), POPE (1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine), and DPPC (1, 2-dipalmitoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine) through 45 μs molecular dynamics (MD) simulations at the coarse-grained level. Our theoretical studies provide new insights to the lipid-induced modulation of the receptor. Particularly, to characterize how μOR interacts with each lipid, we analyze the tilt of the protein, the number of contacts occurring between the lipids and each amino acid of the receptor, and the μOR-lipid interface described as a network graph. We also analyze the variations in the number and the nature of the protein contacts that are induced by the lipid structure. We show that POPC interacts preferentially
with helix 1 (H1) and helices H5-H6, POPE, with H5-H6 and H6-H7, and DPPC, with H4 and
H6. We demonstrate how each of the three lipids shape the structure of the μOR.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0213646
Pages (from-to)e0213646
Number of pages19
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2019


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